Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today said she will vote against the DC Voting Rights Act should it include language that repeals the District’s firearm laws.

Last February, the Senate passed legislation that would give Washington D.C. a seat in the House of Representatives. However, an amendment was added by Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), that repealed Washington D.C.’s ban on semi-automatic weapons, including assault weapons, as well as federal gun anti-trafficking laws. The amendment passed by a vote of 62 to 36. Senator Feinstein voted against the amendment.

The amendment undermines federal anti-trafficking laws, repeals Washington D.C.’s ban on dangerous military-style weapons, allow teenagers to possess semiautomatic assault rifles and prohibits D.C.’s government from passing laws that could discourage gun possession or use by children, felons or other dangerous persons.

Senator Feinstein said today that if the bill comes back to the Senate with the gun language intact, she will not vote for it.

Following is Senator Feinstein’s statement:

“As the author of the original assault weapons ban enacted in 1994, I will not vote for the D.C. Voting Rights Act if that Act contains legislation which prohibits the District of Columbia from regulating weapons. 

I believe the District will become much less safe, and the opportunity for criminals, mentally unstable persons and juveniles to purchase weapons will increase dramatically.

My position is, and always has been, that weapons should be registered. I believe that the gun show loophole should be closed. Legitimate citizens should be able to purchase firearms but we need reasonable, commonsense gun regulations.  The Ensign Amendment will place the families in the District of Columbia in jeopardy and put innocent lives at stake. This is not only bad legislation, it is also very dangerous.”